I recently spent a wonderful early spring day taking part in a Natural Medicine workshop with www.herbalhealthwaiheke.co.nz on Waiheke Island, which is located a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland harbour.
Qualified medical herbalist, naturopath and nutritionist Helen Elscot took us on a weed walk, where we gathered wild plants from beside the beach (big tip: pick above dog level), and used them along with essential oils, base creams and kitchen-grade ingredients to concoct our own medicines and beauty products.
I learned that calendula petals can be dried, steeped in olive oil for five-to-eight weeks, then applied to rashes and sensitive skin; and that jojoba is close to the oil our skin produces.
You can make your own aqueous base cream with beeswax, cocoa butter and almond oil, to which essential oils can be added for homemade face and body creams. I made a facial serum by mixing jojoba oil, a vitamin E capsule, and drops of jasmine and boronia essential oils, which is heaven to use on my sensitive skin, and delicious to smell.
Here are some of the shots I took of the beautiful ingredients we had to work with, our wild weed walk, and the concoction process which was a highly enjoyable way to spend a day.